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Benefits of a bilingual brain

How about mastering multiple-languages? Like Reading in original books?

The mastering of three languages is better, meaning you can easily read and write, in addition to understanding the spoken slang?

Just thinking we understand the spoken language does Not cut it. We have got to read the original authors and works.

Researchers now know that learning another language is actually an amazing way to keep your brain healthy.

Believe it or not, before the 1960s, researchers thought children learning other languages was a handicap.

People back in the day, reaction times on some language tests. made some hypotheses that must mean it’s a drawback for students to know more than their original language (biased tests?.

It won’t necessarily make you smarter, but Mia Nacamulli points out it’s now believed that being bilingual “exercises your brain and makes it stronger, more complex, and healthier.”

And if you’re young, you get an added bonus

What does being bilingual really achieve?

1. It changes the structure of your brain.

Researchers have observed being multilingual can visibly make the neurons and synapses in the brain’s gray matter denser and spur more activity in other regions of the brain when using another language.

Basically, it’s a brain workout!

And another neurological study notes the white matter in the brains of older lifelong bilinguals has a higher integrity compared to older monolinguals. (What integrity means in this context?)

2. It strengthens your brain’s abilities.

That gray matter up there contains all the neuronal cell bodies and stuff (that’s a technical term) that controls your muscles, senses, memory, and speech.

Newer studies show that those slow reaction times and errors on language tests really reflect that the effort of switching between languages is beefing up the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex — the part of your noggin’ that controls problem-solving, switching tasks, and focusing on important stuff while filtering out what’s irrelevant.

3. It can help delay Alzheimer and dementia disorders by as much as four or five years.

Yes. Sí. Oui. When bilinguals are compared to monolinguals, that is.

And although some cognitive research notes there’s still a similar rate of decline after onset, more years of a super-strong brain is always a good thing.

Now, this fourth one gets a little bit nuts.

Nacamulli says it’s believed there’s a key difference between a young bilingual person and someone who learns another language in adulthood.

4. There’s a theory that children who are bilingual get to be emotionally bilingual.

The parts of the brain that are being strengthened while speaking multiple languages include not just the analytical and logical side of the brain but the emotional and social side as well.

It’s called the critical period hypothesis.

The separation of the hemispheres increases as we grow up, and so when you’re a kid — the hypothesis holds — the two sides are a little more plastic and ready to work together while learning language.

Nacamulli says this could be why children seem to get the contextual social and emotional nuances of other languages better than grown-ups who became multilingual later and instead often think  like grown-ups.

Speaking more than one language turns our brains into powerhouses, and it makes our children more emotionally intelligent!

It’s definitely not a handicap. It’s a superpower.

For more on the magical bilingual brain, TED-Ed has some great info!

Note: Though I’m trilingual (speaks, reads and write), my verbal intelligence (rhetoric and clear vocalization of intentions) is pretty deficient. Verbal intelligence is a matter of nurturing while a kid (to be spoken to, asked your opinions, invited to mingle with grown up people, initiated to artistic courses…)

Benefits of a bilingual brain

Believe it or not, before the 1960s, researchers thought children learning other languages was a handicap.

As educator Mia Nacamulli explains in the TED-Ed video below, bilingual kids have shown slower reaction times on some language tests.

People back in the day made some hypotheses that that must mean it’s a drawback for students.

But researchers now know that learning another language is actually an amazing way to keep your brain healthy.

It won’t necessarily make you smarter, but Nacamulli points out it’s now believed that being bilingual* exercises your brain and makes it stronger, more complex, and healthier.

And if you’re young, you get an added bonus

Noor Khalil shared a link.

What does being bilingual really achieve?

1. It changes the structure of your brain.

Researchers have observed being multilingual can visibly make the neurons and synapses in the brain’s gray matter denser and spur more activity in other regions of the brain when using another language.

Basically, it’s a brain workout!

And another neurological study notes the white matter in the brains of older lifelong bilinguals has a higher integrity compared to older monolinguals. (What integrity means in this context?)

2. It strengthens your brain’s abilities.

That gray matter up there contains all the neuronal cell bodies and stuff (that’s a technical term) that controls your muscles, senses, memory, and speech.

Newer studies show that those slow reaction times and errors on language tests really reflect that the effort of switching between languages is beefing up the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex — the part of yer noggin’ that controls problem-solving, switching tasks, and focusing on important stuff while filtering out what’s irrelevant.

3. It can help delay Alzheimer’s and dementia by as much as four or five years.

Yes. Sí. Oui. When bilinguals are compared to monolinguals, that is.

And although some cognitive research notes there’s still a similar rate of decline after onset, more years of a super-strong brain is always a good thing.

Now, this fourth one gets a little bit nuts.

Nacamulli says it’s believed there’s a key difference between a young bilingual person and someone who learns another language in adulthood.

4. There’s a theory that children who are bilingual get to be emotionally bilingual.

The parts of the brain that are being strengthened while speaking multiple languages include not just the analytical and logical side of the brain but the emotional and social side as well.

It’s called the critical period hypothesis.

The separation of the hemispheres increases as we grow up, so when you’re a kid — the hypothesis holds — the two sides are a little more plastic and ready to work together while learning language.

Nacamulli says this could be why children seem to get the contextual social and emotional nuances of other languages better than grown-ups who became multilingual later and instead often think … well … like grown-ups.

Speaking more than one language turns our brains into powerhouses, and it makes our children more emotionally intelligent!

It’s definitely not a handicap. It’s a superpower.

For more on the magical bilingual brain, TED-Ed has some great info!

Note: Though I’m tri-lingual (speak and write), my verbal intelligence (rhetoric and clear vocalization of intentions) is pretty deficient. Verbal intelligence is a matter of nurturing while a kid (spoken to, asked your opinion, invited to mingle with grown up people, initiated to artistic courses…)


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October 2020
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